Access to healthcare
We are committed to increasing access to healthcare for under-served patient populations.
Providing access to healthcare for all those who need it is a significant and complex global challenge.
Our mainstream operations already enable access to our medicines, but we are also making it easier for people to afford our medicines, especially in emerging and developing markets. We focus too on strengthening healthcare capabilities, particularly in developing economies where the price of a medicine may not be the only barrier to healthcare.
We believe that we will be able to make the greatest contribution when our approach is commercially sustainable. It will also take a combined global effort involving all related stakeholders to drive sustainable progress worldwide. Many of our activities are therefore underpinned by collaboration with a wide range of partners.
As access to healthcare can also vary within a country, our activity is tailored locally to meet the needs of different patient populations.
What we're doing
In 2014, we reached 2.7 million patients with our affordability programmes. We currently run affordability programmes in over 20 countries across Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. In Brazil, our Faz Bem (Do Well) programme gives patients discounts on the cost of our medicines, along with information about diseases, treatments and healthy lifestyles. In 2014, the Faz Bem programme reached 1.7 million people. This is an 18 percent increase in reach of the programme since 2013.
Tackling breast cancer in Africa
Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among women in South Africa. Phakamisa is a programme supported by AstraZeneca that brings together different organisations to help raise breast cancer awareness, increase early diagnosis, and improve access to treatment and effective support networks.
In collaboration with South Africa’s Foundation for Professional Development, we are providing accredited courses in cancer diagnosis, treatment and care to healthcare professionals. And in partnership with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and the Breast Health Foundation, we are training teams of volunteers and counsellors to go out into the community, raising awareness and supporting patients, as Phakamisa ‘Navigators’.
Since 2011, more than 600 healthcare professionals have been provided with courses and 400 people trained as ‘Navigators’. More than 1.6 million women have been reached by Navigators across the country.
Early access to AstraZeneca investigational medicinal products
We recognise that there are circumstances where patients with serious or life-threatening diseases have exhausted all available therapeutic options and may not be eligible to enrol in one of our clinical trials. In such circumstances individual patients may be eligible for early access to an AstraZeneca investigational medicinal product.
Healthy Heart Africa is a new programme that launched in October 2014. It aims to support local health systems by increasing awareness of the symptoms and risks of hypertension and by offering education, screening, reduced-cost treatment and control.
Currently, an estimated 38 million people die each year from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. In most regions, NCDs have emerged as the leading cause of death and disability and NCD-related deaths are increasing, especially in low and middle-income countries.